Thunderbolt

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Rating: R

Starring:
Jackie Chan as Chan Foh To (Alfred Tung in US version)
Anita Yuen as Amy Yip
Michael Wong as Steve Cannon
Thorsten Nickel as Warner ‘Cougar’ Kaugman
Yuen Chor as Foh’s father (Alfred’s father in US version)
Oi-Yan Wu as Dai Mui (Daphne in US version)
Chung-Han Man as Sai Mui (Sammi in US version)
Yuzo Kayama as Coach
Kenya Sawada as Saw
Ken Lo as Kong
Chi Wah Wong as Mr. Lam

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 93 Minutes

Synopsis:
Thunderbolt was originally released in 1995. The following text is from the DVD cover:

“Chan Foh To (Chan) is in for the race of his life! After implicating the master criminal Warner Krugman in an illegal drag racing operation, Krugman retaliates by destroying Foh’s business and kidnapping his sisters. The only way he can get them back home safely is by beating Krugman at his best game….high speed auto-racing!”

Thunderbolt is rated R for violence.

Mini-Review:
I’m a big Jackie Chan fan, so I was excited to see Thunderbolt. While it wasn’t the best film he ever made, it’s still an entertaining effort. Like most of his Hong Kong films, it features all of his usual trademarks – spectacular stunts, an incredibly stupid plot, comedy, and outtakes in the credits. You even get to hear him sing, like it or not. But Thunderbolt is unique from Chan’s other Hong Kong films in a couple of ways.

First of all, it’s bloodier than his other movies. There’s a scene where the villains stage a jailbreak at a police station. They shoot dozens of police officers and there’s blood and glass everywhere. It was probably the most violent scene I’ve ever seen in a Chan film. Another scene later features the bad guys using a crane to throw around a shipping container that doubles as Chan’s bedroom. Jackie gets cut and bloodied like never before. His family is also rather brutally beaten up and traumatized. While many of Chan’s films are kid friendly, these two scenes were intense enough to justify the R rating.

The other notable thing about Thunderbolt is that it features spectacular car stunts. What Chan does in hand to hand combat he also does in automobile stunts. An early chase scene through the streets of Hong Kong between Chan and Krugman is incredibly thrilling. It makes The Fast and the Furious look like a Sunday drive. They speed through the streets, smash into each other, and generally wreak havoc. It’s one of the best car stunt sequences I’ve seen in recent memory. There are also quite a few stunts on the race track in Japan, but they aren’t nearly as exciting as the street races.

The film features a number of other trademark Jackie Chan fight sequences featuring clever physical gags, amazing gymnastics, and overwhelming odds. There’s a great battle in a car garage between Chan and several thugs. A bigger and badder fight scene in a Japanese arcade offers even more incredible fight stunts. Seeing Chan battle several Yakuza gang lords was also quite a sight. Like most of Jackie’ Hong Kong movies, the stunts eclipse his American film stunts.

Overall, Thunderbolt will please fans of Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong movies. It’s more of what you’ve come to enjoy from him. Everyone else will have to decide if the stunts alone make it worth watching.

On a side note, there aren’t any bonus features included on this DVD, but you do get both widescreen and fullscreen versions.

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